1x04: Fat Drone Backups

  • Open Source Health: are the open source community more unhealthy than most? Perhaps the trend for health-related gadgets will save us
  • Review: Stuart talks about Ender’s Game, the film, the book, and the author
  • Chris Anderson, CEO of 3dRobotics, ex-editor of Wired, and author, talks about his current venture, creating pilotless autonomous “drones” and what they might mean for Amazon Prime Air, agriculture, and society at large
  • How do the team actually back up their stuff? Surprisingly, we all actually do (as should you), but how do we do it?
  • Your feedback: video podcasting, Bitcoin, new phone OSes, and pod love

Listen to the show at http://www.badvoltage.org/2013/12/05/1x04/ and give us your thoughts here!


Great episode. I am a middle-aged tech guy who needed some way to start getting back into shape. After having watched Dr. Evans’ video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUaInS6HIGo&feature) I bought a Fitbit Flex and now walk about 8K everyday. The tracking is a huge motivator as I now have empirical evidence of any pathetic slacking off I might be tempted to engage in.

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Nice! So… what motivated “getting back into shape”? Just a nebulous feeling that it’s what everyone says you have to do, or something more specific?

On the health thing. I think one of the biggest problems for everybody is that Mental Health is still a taboo. I don’t know how bad it is in the US, but in the UK, it’s still a bad idea to be open with an employer about having a mental health issue, even if you’re managing it well and and it has beneficial implications for your work.

Unless we’re all more honest and open about what mental issues we have, and how fragile humans actually are, then we won’t make any progress towards having better working environments.


That’s a really good point, actually, about honesty, especially honesty to employers. I don’t know how that might ever get resolved, though.

I agree. I don’t think it just applies to employers too. I think sometimes we all forget that the person on the other end of an online debate may be experiencing some mental health issues…and their behavior can be put down to being anti-social or weird.

It’s bad. Someone like @jonobacon who has lived both places would need to address how it compares.

US law pretends to provide various protections but in reality people have a lot of reasons to keep quiet. A friend just changed jobs after essentially being punished for being hospitalized. Come back from the hospital in a neck brace and people are sympathetic. Come back with memory problems and not wanting to talk about it…that’s different.

I think that another potential problem, specifically in the open source community, is that we seem to be geared to reward some of the antisocial, egotistical, ‘type A’ behavior. We tend to excuse bad behavior when the person(s) engaging in it are high profile and/or very talented. By encouraging this type of behavior we create and environment that is aggressive, rather than welcoming.

Agreed, but what’s the alternative? If someone’s doing the lion’s share of work in a project and acting antisocially while they do it, you call them out, and they say “well, the hell with this then” and bail. You now have a project which is nicer to work in, but no-one’s working in it. This isn’t a problem if a project has a large and vibrant community, but most don’t. There’s a reasonable argument that a project which isn’t moving forward but is welcoming is better than one which is making progress but rejects newcomers, women, and documenters… but there’s an argument for the other side too. Obviously pretty much everyone agrees that “be welcoming and make progress” is the best thing to be, but lots of the time it at least feels like choosing between the two is required. :frowning:

Oh I completely agree. I’m not saying I have the answer, I was simply pointing out that so of the most prominent figures of meta-community seem to embody the very issues that make growing that meta-community into a more welcoming and healthy place.

Totally agree, this is what I was…somewhat brain-fart-ily…trying to make a point about. I have worked with some people who are simply anti-social assholes in certain situations that I am amazed is tolerated by some others. I suspect though that this is not specific to Open Source…

You’d be surprised how much it is unique to open source, I think. The reason is this: it is rare to find someone who is an antisocial arsehole in the way that problematic open source contributors are in a powerful commercial software engineering job, because people like that don’t get promoted because their bosses hate them. There is a reason that everyone’s interminable personnel review form has a category for “works well with others” on it.

Please respect our code of conduct which is simple: don't be a dick.